Afghanistan’s powerbrokers are in the early stages of an intense competition as they prepare for the planned 2019 presidential election. The multi-month disagreement between President Ashraf Ghani and warlord and long-time Balkh Province Governor Mohammad Atta Noor over the latter’s governorship is the first stage of a much larger battle between the two politicians for the presidency.
ISIS’s affiliates gained new terrain in Libya and Afghanistan, while launching significant attacks in Yemen, Egypt, and Kuwait. ISIS also declared a new governorate in Russia’s North Caucasus. These gains allow the organization to offset territorial losses in Libya and northern Syria and maintain its claim that it is “Remaining and Expanding” a year after the declaration of the Caliphate.
The Taliban’s annual summer offensive in Afghanistan in 2014 can be characterized by waves of violence across the country and, in particular, a string of attacks ringing the capital, Kabul. The attacks appear mainly to target Afghanistan’s infrastructure, particularly its airports.
If America's experience in Iraq offers any single, unambiguous lesson, it is the folly of just walking away. The United States must not repeat this mistake in Afghanistan. Isolation and disengagement have severely damaged American credibility and security, as can be seen most dramatically in Ukraine today.
The death of First Vice President Marshal Qasim Fahim will have an even bigger impact on the aftermath of the forthcoming presidential election than on its outcome. This article now updated with information about the nomination of Mohammad Yunus Qanooni to fill his position.
Candidates for Afghanistan’s 2014 elections will declare their intent to run by October 6. The most prominent candidates, Zalmai Rassoul & Abdullah Abdullah, represent the two main factions that will decide the 2014 election: the Karzai-Establishment & anti-Karzai opposition.
Abdurrab Rasul Sayyaf is the latest name to have been floated as President Hamid Karzai’s favored contender for the 2014 Afghan Presidential Elections.
Leaving a bare-bones U.S. presence will risk a return of the Taliban—and civil war.
The Afghan National Army (ANA) is arguably the most respected institution in Afghanistan. Keeping it that way as it becomes more self-sufficient will contribute to all of NATO’S post-2014 strategic aims.